Speak the Truth. Others know.

Speak the Truth

The need to speak the truth and the role of your passion in doing so

I am a huge fan of Buckminster Fuller, a man who died in 1983 but who was awarded 47 Honorary Doctorates from Universities around the world. He was a genius, and his work lives on.

In the introduction to his last book, Critical Path, published just before he died, he said:

“…All of humanity is in peril of extinction if each one of us does not dare, now and henceforth, always to tell only the truth, and all the truth, and to do so promptly – right now.”

I invite you to contemplate what would make such a wise man, a true genius, to say such a thing. In this blog, I will share some thoughts I have on the topic, and the role that your passion plays in whether or not you do tell the truth.

I believe that truth is enormously powerful. When you speak your truth, you are powerful. There is a useful distinction on this point. I have learned to ‘speak the truth with compassion’, or express ‘honesty without malice’. There is usually no need to intentionally hurt people by expressing your truth in brutal ways!

Truth is

There are two types of truth.

Truth that is objectively true, commonly called a ‘fact’, such as “I drove the car into the other car”; or, subjective truth, a matter that you believe or consider to be true: “I consider that my colleagues are not committed to their work.” This may or not be objectively true, or it may not even be able to be finally determined.

When you are passionate, you will be courageous. It requires courage to speak the truth. When you express what is true, you are often taking a big risk. Yet, Fuller says the humanity is in danger of extinction if we don’t take this risk. It seems to me, that avoiding extinction is a great reason to speak more truth.

In your organization, particularly if it is large, there will always be politics at work. I have thought long and hard about why this is so, and I believe it is ubiquitous due to the complexity of human beings and their behaviors and motivations.

What is politics at work? I say that the volume of politics is inversely proportional to the volume of truth. In other words, the more truth that is spoken, the less politics there will be.

Politics at work leads to people being favored and promoted over others for the wrong reasons. It means people losing their jobs for the wrong reasons. It means lies and untruths that hurt and upset people, and kill passion.

Here are some of the advantages to you of accessing your passion and your courage to speak what is true, either objectively or subjectively:

  • You will feel liberated
  • You will help to reduce politics in your workplace
  • You will help your workplace become more successful
  • You will help your workplace become more productive and profitable
  • You will improve your relationships
  • You will have better relationships
  • You will lose relationships that are built on falsehoods
  • You will become more powerful
  • You will gain a reputation for speaking the truth
  • You will gain a reputation for being courageous
  • You will help to reduce the risk that humanity will become extinct!

Let me know if you can see additional advantages for speaking the truth.

Charles B Kovess LL.B. (Hons), LL.M., MAICD, MAITD
Australasia’s Passion Provocateur
Certified Speaking Professional
www.kovess.com
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11 comments

  • Sir,

    Truly speaking that I am trying hard to become a ZOXer, but I am living around the people who don’t know what ZOXing is, and they don’t want me to become a ZOXer. They will not help or permit me to go to Australia to learn ZOXing.

    I am working in a government organization. They don’t want me to leave that job. I have many dreams (to become a management student and to run a big industry…..). This is the problem for me.

    • You do have everything you need to become a ZOXer within the ZOX Pro Training. It is designed that way.

      The rest comes down to your environment; Your personal environment you create with attitude and beliefs, and your external environment that you choose to let get in your way of your objectives.

      YOU are the only person that has YOUR answers and decisions. It is up to you what happens.

  • The truth will set you free (the bible). It leaves no tension in the body when you speak the truth. It is the wish to deceive that causes tension and if we are truthful we are transparent and at ease.

    • Bridget,

      When you live in truth, your body and mind are strongest. It is much easier to combat and repel disease, and stay healthy. Some aboriginal cultures still have “test by poison” as a deciding test when people are lying. To lie under that type of testing usually results in the death of the person lying, while the person that is not lying will survive.

      The reason this works, is your body is always under attack. The point at which your body starts loosing the battle is called the threshold. When the person lies, their constitution, or their threshold, is lower.

  • I found the advice to speak all the truth has the element of real danger. It is unwise to tell all one knows all the time. There may be more potential for human extinction were everything one knows to be true became public.

    • David,
      Knowing the truth, knowing your truth, and speaking the truth, are all different and should be treated accordingly. In all the “Good Books” there are reference to knowing yourself, through and through. First and foremost you should seek that knowledge of yourself. It will provide great wisdom. How can you know any truth without it being skewed, if you do not know your own truth first. You should be perseverance with passion to seek out those answers. The one person that you should be harsh with when dealing with truth is yourself.

  • If you speak the truth at all times, you don’t have to remember the lies that you may have told. Life is calmer, congruent and you have integrity and can be trusted to walk your talk.

    • Please see the reply to Bridget’s comment. It applies to your comment too.

      Walking in integrity is one thing. Walking in high unshakable integrity is another. That means you refuse to sacrifice your integrity, no matter what. To some, their integrity will be put to the final test of life or death.

  • Consider this. There is no truth, there is only what happened. There is no right or wrong or good or bad, there is only what happened. Everthing else is just someones opinion and their opinion doesn’t make it the truth.

    If you believe in “The Truth” then you also probably believe that rocks are hard, the sky is blue, and water is wet and think that is the truth. How do you know that? You only know that because once upon a time someone made that up and got other people to believe it was the truth. It’s not the truth it’s just what happened. Those things aren’t right or wrong or good or bad they are just based on someones opinion and how they defined them.

    Integrity is not the truth. Integrity is when someone or something is whole and complete. For instance, would you buy a new car that was missing the steering wheel, or a chair with only three legs? Those things would be out of integrity and not funtion as intented. We all go in and out of integrity but how do you function when you are out or integrity?

    Nothing here is the truth it’s just my opinion.

    • Richard,

      IT is good to have an opinion of truth. It is also good for you to know what your own truth is. Many people have neither.

      Consider this: Is glass a solid or a liquid. Most people don’t know the answer of this one.

      Shannon

      PS: If you had a 3-legged chair, would it still be called a chair? (That is a fun one, too.)
      Some would call it “fire wood”. There are many answers to this one…